Governments to blame for shoreline erosion problems, says Leamington Shoreline Association
Wayne King has lived along the Wheatley shoreline for five decades
The founder of the Leamington Shoreline Association thinks the provincial and federal governments are to blame for the shoreline erosion Essex County has been experiencing.
Wayne King has lived along the Wheatley shoreline for five decades and said he formed the association to get help from all three levels of government after more than 300 structures in the town were damaged by storms and waves.
He also wrote a report titled 'The Destruction of Leamington's East Beaches' to try and determine what caused shoreline erosion in the town over the past five to six decades.
"The provincial government, starting in about 1910, allowed mostly American sand-sucking operations off Point Pelee and along these beaches here. That operation was going up until 1984," said King.
Take a look at this image comparison from King's report, which shows the Getty's Beach shoreline more than six decades apart:
"At times, it would look like a city out there with the number of sand suckers that were allowed and permitted by the provincial government to take away our sand," said King.
King said the sand acts as a "buffer" between the lake and the shoreline — which means less sand equates to more erosion.
"It really saddens me because I've seen Hillman Marsh and Point Pelee National Park and the beaches that were here," said King. "I've seen them. It was a beautiful place and it's going very quickly."
King suggests some solutions to prevent shoreline erosion in the region from getting worse. Tap on the player below to find out what they are:
with files from Jason Viau